This self-titled effort is the 5th album by New Yorkers Full Blown Chaos, since their formation in 2000 and the first to be released through Metal Blade. In the four years since the release of ‘Heavy Lies The Crown’ Full Blown Chaos have added a second guitarist in Mark Gumbrecht to add some extra noise to the metallic hardcore assault that Mike Facci had previously supplied.
This album opens with ‘Doomageddon’ and kicks off with a massive breakdown to start things in brutal fashion, gang chants and all. ‘Villains’ opens with a nice riff and seems to keep gathering momentum, each new section getting more urgent than the previous, before finally settling down towards the end of the track. ‘Rise & Conquer’ and ‘The Walking Dead’ brings to the fore the rhythm section of Jeff Facci (drums) and Dustin Jennings (bass) that drive the breakdowns and double bass blasts that are evident right through the album.
It took me a while to figure out where I had heard the riff at the start of ‘Silence Is Golden’ before. Eventually, it came to me that it was from Cannibal Corpse ‘Hammer Smashed Face’, but the different sound gives a classic old riff new life. The rapid start of ‘Die Like You Live’ soon settles into the pattern set by previous tunes. ‘Gravedigger’ could be described as slow paced compared to the rest of the album. By the time ‘Gutter Mouth’ rolls round we bear witness to the one quiet moment on the album, an outro that lasts a mere 10 seconds…
With ‘War Machine’, you can tell that the incessant touring Full Blown Chaos has done has helped them form a set of songs that is ideal for the live environment. This album will get the circle pits going. ‘Battle Hymns And Broken Bones’ and ‘C.O.B.R.A.’ are further evidence of the intensity of this set of songs.
As the album comes to close ‘Cain Marko’ sets out to beat the listener into submission right from the start. The grand opening of ‘The Path I Walk’ immediately brings to mind old school thrash before Ray Mazzolla‘s vocals add hardcore rage into the mix that blends well and increases the fury of the album.
Before hearing this album I was expecting a full on NYHC assault, and I was half right. It feels wrong to call this a metalcore album, but that’s exactly what it is, metal and hardcore. It is more akin to Hatebreed and Merauder than a lot of the bands given that particular tag nowadays, but brings together influences from various different scenes.
“Full Blown Chaos” is a solid album, while breaking no boundaries nor straying too far from the hardcore blueprint (which isn’t really the hardcore way of doing things, but that’s fine if you do it well). This is an album that makes you want to grab people and start a pit wherever you are, be that in a shop, your living room, on a train or outside a church waiting for a christening to start (and those are all places I have listened to this album). Sure, there are better examples of the genre than this, but there are a hell of a lot more albums that aren’t this good.